Two Houses and a Heath
On 22nd July we met at Hampstead station for a visit to Fenton House on Hampstead Heath. The weather was superb, again, and a short steep climb saw us at the house.
The house is full of harpsichords, virginals, etc. It also has a good art collection, including paintings donated by the late actor Peter Barkworth. After a pleasant hour wandering through the three floors of the house we went into the gardens. Some pretty and interesting plants on the borders led us to a small orchard and with the shade provided by the trees, we decided to have a picnic. Fred and Brian got the short straw and ate in the hot sunshine.
We then descended to the house called No. 2 Willow Road by National Trust, but called Goldfinger’s house by us. It is said that Ian Fleming was inspired to use this architect’s name in one of his Bond novels. We missed the guided tour and had to wait an hour to gain access so we walked round part of Hampstead Heath. The photo is of us resting during the walk. The Heath was full, as was the open air swimming pool. Then back to the house.
Goldfinger was a modern architect and the house was his vision of the future. It is a concrete framed house but after objections the concrete was covered by brickwork more sympathetic to the area. The garage had been converted by National Trust into a cinema where we saw an introductory video and then we entered the house. Sliding and folding doors made it a versatile home and the panoramic windows gave fine views. The tools used by an architect in the mid-twentieth century were on display and there was some nice artwork. Many notable people were visitors to the house and visiting artists left some of their work.
Lynne left us to have a swim in the ladies-only pool on the Heath and the rest of us returned to Belsize Park station and home.
Brian U. 22nd July 2018